Alun Armstrong has paid tribute to "wonderful comedian" Bobby Knutt who made his final film appearance in 'Funny Cow'.

Alun Armstrong at Funny Girl premiere

Alun Armstrong at Funny Girl premiere

The 71-year-old screen legend stars alongside the 'Emmerdale' actor -who passed away suddenly in September whilst on holiday in the South of France at the age of 71 - in some scenes in the upcoming British comedy drama, which is being screened as part of the BFI London Film Festival.

'Funny Cow' follows the titular character's struggle to break into the comedy circuit in working men's clubs in the north of England at a time when women weren't traditionally accepted as stand-ups and Knutt appears as the Crookes Club Concert Secretary.

Armstrong admits Knutt's passing was the "one sad note" of the movie but says he'll always fondly remember how "fantastic" it was working with him.

Speaking exclusively to BANG Showbiz at the world premiere of 'Funny Cow' at the Vue Cinema in London's Leicester Square, Armstrong said: "The one sad note about the whole thing was the wonderful comedian Bobby Knutt who I worked with on some of my scenes, who suddenly died a couple of weeks ago. But it was fantastic working with him and of course, comedians will never tire of telling what it was like back in the old days and they have some fantastic stories and they are great company."

The film - which is written by Tony Pitts and directed by Adrian Shergold - stars Maxine Peake as the Funny Girl, Stephen Graham, Paddy Considine and a host of comedians including Vic Reeves and John Bishop.

Armstrong, who grew up in the North of England and had his first acting job in a theatre in Sheffield, admitted it was his character Lenny - an ageing comedian coming to the end of his career - which made him want to appear in the film.

He said: "I just love the character I was asked to play. I grew up in the North and my first theatre job was in Sheffield, where the film is set, so I was around in that city, at that time and it did bring back a lot of memories. But it was the character that made me want to do it, it is a lovely mixture of pathos and fun."

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